« AnteriorContinuar »
That they, to whom his breast still open lies
In gentle passions, should his death disguise,
And leave succeeding ages cause to mourn
As long as grief shall weep, or love shall mourn.
Straight does a slow and languishing disease
Eliza,” nature's and his darling, seize.
Like polished mirrors, so his steely breast
Had every figure of her woes expressed;
And, with the damp of her last gasps obscured,
Had drawn such stains as were not to be cured.
Fate could not either reach with single stroke,
But, the dear image fled, the mirror broke.
He without noise still travelled to his end,
As silent suns to meet the night descend:
The stars, that for him fought, had only power
Left to determine now his fatal hour;
Which since they might not hinder, yet they cast
To choose it worthy of his glories past.
No part of time but bare his mark away
Of honour; all the year was Cromwell's day;
But this, of all the most auspicious found,
Twice had in open field him victor crowned;
When up the armed mountains of Dunbar
He marched, and through deep Severn, ending war.
What day should him eternize, but the same
That had before immortalized his name?
That so, whoe'er would at his death have joyed
In their own griefs might find themselves employed.
But those that sadly his departure grieved
Yet joyed, remembering what he once achieved;
And the last minute his victorious ghost
Gave chase to Ligny on the Belgic coast.
Here ended all his mortal toils; he laid,t
And slept in peace under the laurel shade.
* That is, Cromwell's second and favourite daughter, Elizabeth, the wife of John Claypole, Esq., who died about a month before her father.
f This form was not the vulgarism in the seventeenth century that it is now. It is frequent in Marvel and several of his contemporaries.
O Cromwell ! heaven's favourite, to none
Have such high honours from above been shown;
For whom the elements we mourners see,
And heaven itself would the great herald be;
Which with more care set forth his obsequies
Than those of Moses, hid from human eyes;
As jealous only here, lest all be less
Than we could to his memory express.
Since him away the dismal tempest rent,
Who once more joined us to the continent;
Who planted England on the Flandric shore,
And stretched our frontier to the Indian ore;
Whose greater truths obscure the fables old,
Whether of British saints or worthies told;
And, in a valour lessening Arthur's deeds,
For holiness the Confessor exceeds.
He first put arms into religion's hand,
And, timorous conscience unto courage manned,
The soldier taught that inward mail to wear,
And, fearing God, how they should nothing fear:*
Those strokes, he said, will strike through all below,
Where those that strike from heaven fetch their blow.
Astonished armies did their flight prepare,
And cities strong were stormed by his prayer:
Of that for ever Preston's field shall tell
The story, and impregnable Clonmell.
Valour, religion, friendship, prudence, died
At once with him, and all that's good beside;
And we, death's refuse, nature's dregs, confined
To loathsome life, alas! are left behind :
Where we (so once we used) shall now no more
To fetch day, press about his chamber door;
From which he issued with that awful state,
It seemed Mars broke through Janus' double gate;
Yet always tempered with an air so mild,
No April suns that e'er so gently smiled:
No more shall hear that powerful language charm,
Whose force oft spared the labour of his arm:
No more shall follow where he spent the days
In war, in counsel, or in prayer and praise;
Whose meanest acts he would himself advance,
As ungirt David to the ark did dance.
All, all is gone of ours or his delight
In horses fierce, wild deer, or armour bright:
- Francisca fair can nothing now but weep,
Nor with soft notes shall sing his cares asleep.
I saw him dead: a leaden slumber lies, And mortal sleep, over those wakeful eyes: Those gentle rays under the lids were fled, Which through his looks that piercing sweetness shed; That port, which so majestic was and strong, Loose and deprived of vigour stretched along; All withered, all discoloured, pale, and wan; How much another thing! no more that man! Oh human glory! vain oh death ! oh wings Oh worthless world ! oh transitory things Yet dwelt that greatness in his shape decayed That still, though dead, greater than death he laid, And in his altered face you something feign That threatens death he yet will live again. Not much unlike the sacred oak which shoots To heaven its branches, and through earth its roots; Whose spacious boughs are hung with trophies round, And honoured wreaths have oft the victor crowned; When angry Jove darts lightning through the air At mortals' sins, nor his own plant will spare, It groans, and bruises all below, that stood So many years the shelter of the wood; The tree, ere while fore-shortened to our view, When fallen shows taller yet than as it grew: So shall his praise to after times increase, When truth shall be allowed and faction cease. Thee many ages hence in martial verse Shall the English soldier, ere he charge, rehearse; WOL. IV. G
Singing of thee, inflame themselves to fight,
And with the name of Cromwell armies fright.
As long as rivers to the seas shall run,
As long as Cynthia shall relieve the sun;
While stags shall fly unto the forests thick,
While sheep delight the grassy downs to pick;
As long as future time succeeds the past,
Always thy honour, praise, and name shall last.
This poem was written very soon after Cromwell's death, in the brief reign of Richard, and most probably at its commencement; for all good and high things are anticipated of that worthy successor of his great father. “He, as his father,” we are told,— long was kept from sight
In private, to be viewed by better light;
But, opened once, what splendour does he throw !
A Cromwell in an hour a prince will grow.
How he becomes that seal how strongly strains,
How gently winds at once, the ruling reins!
We must add a sample or two of Marvel's more reckless verse—that rough and ready satire in which he was unmatched in the latter part of his life. It is impossible to present any of his effusions in this line without curtailment; and the portions of the humour that must be abstracted are frequently the most pungent of the whole; but the following lines, entitled ‘Royal Resolutions,’ may, even with the necessary omissions, convey some notion of the wit and drollery with which Marvel used to turn the court and government into ridicule:— When plate was at pawn, and fob at an ebb, And spider might weave in bowels its web, And stomach as empty as brain; Then Charles without acre
Did swear by his Maker,
If eer I see England again,
I'll have a religion all of my own,
Whether Popish or Protestant shall not be known,
And, if it prove troublesome, I will have none.
I'll have a long parliament always to friend,
And furnish my treasure as fast as I spend;
And, if they will not, they shall have an end.
I’ll have a council that sit always still,
And give me a licence to do what I will;
And two secretaries . . . . . .
My insolent brother shall bear all the sway:
If parliaments murmur, I'll send him away,
And call him again as soon as I may.
I'll have a rare son, in marrying though marred,
Shall govern, if not my kingdom, my guard,
And shall be successor to me or Gerrard.
I'll have a new London instead of the old,
With wide streets and uniform to my own mould;
But, if they build too fast, I'll bid 'em hold.
The ancient nobility I will lay by,
And new ones create, their rooms to supply;
And they shall raise fortunes for my own fry.
Some one I'll advance from a common descent
So high that he shall hector the parliament,
And all wholesome laws for the public prevent.
And I will assert him to such a degree,
That all his foul treasons, though daring and high,
Under my hand and seal shall have indemnity.
I'll wholly abandon all public affairs,
And pass all my time with buffoons and players,
And saunter to Nelly when I should be at prayers.
I'll have a fine pond with a pretty decoy,
Where many strange fowl shall feed and enjoy,
And still, in their language, quack Wive le Roy.
To this we will add part of a ‘Ballad on the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen presenting the King and